Two of Columbia’s Enterprise Risk Management program’s lecturers, Kiran Bhujle and Shahryar Shaghaghi, presented recently at the New York State Cybersecurity Conference on “Demystifying Quantum Computing.” The presentation broke down what quantum computing is and how it affects the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.
The two presenters are incredibly experienced in their fields. Bhujle, Global Cybersecurity Leader at SVAM International, has over twenty-five years of experience in technology and cybersecurity consulting. Shaghaghi, Chief Technology Officer at Quantum Xchange, has over thirty years of experience in technology, operations, and risk management consulting for global organizations. Not only do they have the technical expertise to understand quantum computing, but they also can explain it clearly to non-technology professionals.
A classical or binary computer uses bits (1s and 0s) to represent data. Very powerful binary computers still have to run through a series of combinations of bits one at a time, although very fast. A quantum computer uses qubits (subatomic particles) that allow for superpositioning, allowing the machine to run through all the combinations of bits simultaneously.
The effect this could have on cybersecurity is immense and troubling. A hacker only needs to be right once to break through an encryption and steal sensitive information. A quantum computer would allow a hacker to test all possible passwords for a login at once, guaranteeing that they get it right.
Federal laws and mandates are already being developed to manage this new threat landscape. The presenters believe that state and commercial sectors should also ready themselves for this quickly approaching future by evaluating how quantum computers will affect their platforms now.
Learn more about Columbia’s Enterprise Risk Management program.